WashingtonExec 2014 Market Outlook Series
As we turn the page on 2013, we look forward to a new year and new opportunities for innovation and growth in the government contracting community. This past year we experienced budget sequestration, a 16-day-long government shutdown, and a perpetually increasing focus on cyber security and healthcare IT.
WashingtonExec reached out to those most knowledgeable and experienced individuals in the federal contracting space. We asked executives in and around the beltway for insight regarding where they see the government contracting community headed in 2014. Topics discussed include M&A activity, cloud computing, healthcare IT, defense, mobility, and more.
Bill Annibell, CTO of Sapient Government Services, is responsible for evaluating non-mainstream technologies that may be three to five years out from wide-scale use. Here is what Annibell had to say about the market outlook for 2014 and beyond, and the keys to success in the future.
An important focus area for 2014 will be rebuilding public trust by restoring the government reputation both at home and abroad. Restoring public sentiment will be a challenge at a time when citizen expectations are rising especially when examples like Healthcare.gov or the revelations by Edward Snowden are still very fresh in our minds. This is compounded by the government having to keep pace with digital trends and emerging technologies in the face of critical challenges including cybersecurity threats, energy demands, critical infrastructure and health.
The result is a tendency to implement solutions based on yesterday’s innovations that are quickly outdated to solve today or tomorrow’s complex needs. The impact is the government brand is often seen as a laggard, behind the times and reactionary to the needs of citizens.
The government contracting community will play an important part in restructuring how the government brand is restored. The private sector’s ability to effectively engage with government agencies to establish private/public partnerships will be a key step. This structure is hamstrung by the current constraints of antiquated federal acquisition laws and regulations, which require revisions to facilitate this important change.
To achieve this, it is imperative we have incentive systems that encourage public and private partnerships to present a united front. Leveraging the NASA Space Act Agreement as a model, I believe it is time for a federal equivalent program that will streamline the process for these partnerships and establish guidelines for information sharing, privacy, intellectual property and transparency as we collectively combat these faceless adversaries. Leveraging a similar model enabled us to put a man on the moon in less than a decade. Imagine what we could do if we focused our best and brightest minds from the public and private sectors to tackle our largest problems?